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Palliative care for terminal illnesses Bill set for second reading

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A Private Members Bill, which requires comprehensive palliative care to be provided for people with terminal illnesses, is set for a second reading in the House of Commons.

Brought under Parliament’s Ten Minute Rule, allowing backbench MPs to put forward their case for a Bill in ten minutes or less, the Bill is spearheaded by the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate, Bambos Charalambous.

If successful, the Bill’s application would cover those over the age of 60 and require the co-operation between hospices and certain public bodies in providing palliative care. It would also make provision for those who support people with terminal illnesses, such as carers.

During his ten minute speech to the House of Commons, Mr Charalambous explained that palliative care needed “to go hand in hand with hospital treatment”, stressing that it “should be available for all people with advanced and progressive illnesses and life-shortening conditions”.

He went on to say that “early referral for palliative care can improve the quality of life and lengthen it”, which could also relieve the pressure on the NHS, with fewer hospital admissions, and those who looked after the affected individuals.

The social care sector was also referenced in the MP’s speech, where he emphasised the lack of assistance currently available, with 25 per cent of those providing palliative or end-of-life care having to wait more than six months for an assessment as to whether they qualify for support.

He also called for greater recognition from the Government of the role that carers play.

The Bill’s second reading has been set for 23 November 2018.

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